A new season comes up and we all feel the need to make some kind of resolution. If it’s summer there’s the beach body dilemma. In winter time we promise to ourselves to eat clean and healthy. Autumn is for revising the wardrobe, spring is for getting rid of that same wardrobe.
This year I decided to begin the fall season with a firm objective: focus on myself.
Always caring for others’ opinions, paying too much attention to my appearance. Always thinking about the future, without living the present. What’s life if not living the present?
For this reason, I decided to come up with one resolution to follow, starting this fall: focus on myself and carpe diem, catch the moment.
I’ve developed an egoistic side that I thought it could’ve never grown inside me. I’ve never been selfish, so this new façade of me is still something that I have to define.
Besides attending classes on campus, doing homework in my room, and hanging out with my group of friends in the cafeteria, I’ve started doing something new that it’s been revealing a daily necessity: the gym.
That’s right, I like going to gym. I like dressing up in sporty clothes, running, jumping, and riding the bicycle for a limited time of a day.
It all started because I wanted to get in shape for my self-defense course. I was afraid to be not prepared enough to do all the exercises given by the instructor in class. In order to avoid this kind of situation, I started going to the gym alone, since no one that I knew would have gotten on board with me on this plan.
“Gym? Everyday? Not for me, thanks.”
“You’re crazy! Don’t get too thin!”
“You must gain weight instead of losing it!”
They were, and still are wrong. I need to go to the gym not for my body, but for my mind. When I do an exercise I just think about that specific task that I’ve got to accomplish in an instant. The reward? Pure satisfaction for achieving that little goal. My body could do it and my mind was able to control it. Nothing more, nothing less.
Since I’ve started going to the gym more and more often, people began commenting how much solitary I’ve started to be. Along with the gym activity, I’ve also started cooking by myself.
It’s not that I hate the food at the cafeteria. Neither am I an antisocial or sad person. It’s more a matter of getting more independent. I still see and hang out with many people. However, I need some time for myself.
Cooking makes me rational. It helps my concentration to be sharper and my actions faster. Doing the shopping at the grocery store, picking up the vegetables, recognizing ripe fruits, choosing the perfect yogurt or milk. In this way, I know exactly what my body is assimilating, its quality and quantity as well.
Usually, my roommates come up in the kitchen floor and check out what I’m doing. Sometimes I think they are worried about me because I’m always doing stuff on my own without asking too much help to anyone. However, I like their company in the common kitchen while I’m cooking. Their presence helps me multitasking, while they talk about their day, their love lives, and so on.
When I stir the water in the pot with the spoon, when I strain the pasta, when I do my daily crunches, when I do those thirty seconds plank, I actually feel free. It feels like I’m achieving something at that exact moment, without having wasted any time. It’s like I’m enjoying the moment, without thinking too much about the future. In this way, I get more ideas for my stories. My academic work is much more productive and efficient.
There are times when I imagine my future self-telling to a group of people how good it was that dish of pasta that I prepared the previous day. How can I say so if I was not paying attention to what kind of sauce I was preparing? Another story I could tell someone could be about how did I learn to run so fast. I can see myself answering: “I’ve been just practicing every day, and focused on the moment rather than on the future look I would eventually get”.
Being selfish has turned out to be more generous towards myself, and also it aids me to be more and more selective to enjoy my surroundings and my spare time. Maybe it is cynic to state so. However, I guess this is life: who knows?
Again, I might be wrong, but I believe that relying on your personal strengths and capabilities looks like a process with which a true, hard and authentic life must be experienced.